A Sit Down With DJ Savoy
For those of you that dont know, SAVOY is pretty awesome. But dont just take my word for it. Here, let me explain SAVOY is a trio of musicians comprised of Gray Smith, Ben Eberdt, and Mike Kelly. The three met when they were in college at CU Boulder. "We met in the dorms, Mike lived a door or two down from me," said Ben. "When Gray and I met, Gray was cruising around with a guitar and I called him over and we started jamming right then and there. Weve played music together ever since."
In fact, their biggest inspiration in production is their own live show. They perform all of their shows live, with drums, guitar and synths being played out in real time, along with their laser operator, who controls the lights via MIDI controller.
Where did the three of you meet?
We met at the University of Colorado. We were in the dorms together, and we actually started like sort of a rock band. As time went on, we started listening to other music, and we saw Daft Punk live at Red Rocks. From there, we knew we really wanted to make people dance and thought this would be the way to do it. So we kept the live drums, and we started introducing computers and producing our own sound, and it was a bit of a slow process. But we all sort of have a musician-like background, so in a way, we were able to pull it off.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?
Electronic Rock Music. We bring the energy, dance party, and live production of a DJ set at a massive festival, yet with performance, instrumentation, and guts of a real rock n roll show. Our goal as always been Led Zeppelin meets Daft Punk meets Rage Against the Machine.
Was it challenging going from a live band to DJing live?
Theyre both fun in their own right. When were playing live we get to play all of our own music its very rewarding. We also get to play our own instruments and thats super fun. But DJing is fun too because we get to play all the other music that we love. Putting together a DJ set is an art form in its own right as well.
"We pretty much said to ourselves that we werent going to give a fuck about any genres or any things that we need to be tied to".
Do you have any thoughts, as a group that likes to bring new elements to the show, about this controversy about button pushing and whether DJing is an art?
Some people want to DJ on CDJs, some want to get more technical, and I dont know how much Your equipment doesnt limit you. Just because youre using CDJs or spinning records or using Ableton, there are always different levels. I just think that different people have different strengths, some people are just absolute geniuses in the studio, and they spend all this time on their productions and planning. Were making this song in the studio right now for the sole reason of translating that to the main arena. And we know if we do it like this, its going to go off. A lot of people put so much effort and hours into the studio just so they can present it in a live context. We love to spend time in the studio and plan our sets in a way that we know we can control the energy a certain way. Sometimes if you go a bit too far with improvisation you can do something that is not as great as if you had spent some time planning. At the same time, you want to give a new experience every night for your fans, and we also like to keep ourselves entertained, so its great to be able to change things. And its great to have the live drummer and singers because the human element is great.
Do you feel that Dubstep and Electro lend themselves to incorporating live instruments better than other EDM genres?
What was the inspiration for your single, "Love Is Killing Me"?
Inspiration comes from so many different angles. We had the idea based on an old soul sample and then wanted to take it to a new direction. The song is really mellow in a lot of ways, yet it also packs a ton of energy. The drums and the choir sound we have really drive the song, and the Chali 2na comes in and really vibes it out. We are so happy with how it turned out it works just as well on a monday morning when youre chilling as it does on a Friday night when were raging a show.
Your live shows are kind of epic and you tour all the time. Whats your favorite part about being on the road and your least favorite thing about being on the road?
I guess my favorite thing about being on the road is just being with all of our homies, its kind of like being at camp something, youre just kicking it with all your boys the whole time and just chilling during the whole day, my least favorite thing is probably sound check because it always takes forever and something always goes wrong, but youve got to get it right for the show, so thats probably my least favorite part.
How do you think your band`s sound has changed since you put out "Self Predator"?
"Self Predator" drew from a lot of rock n roll structures but at the end of the day was a dark techno album engineered for the club. 1000 Years is still based around the core foundations of dance but is built from the ground up with guitars, vocals, and live drums. That raw, band element makes it much more musical than our past works. You can listen to it while cooking dinner but you can also mosh to it at rock club. Its the perfect blend of retro meets future. 1000 Years is the result of playing with the science of live and produced music and extracting the best of both to create an exponentially different experience.
Do you have any big inspirations in the way you produce music? Did you try to feed off of anyone in particular for the album?
I think our biggest inspiration is our live show, honestly. We dont really draw on too many current electronic artists to try and emulate or anything like that. Of course, we worship the classics, like Daft Punk, you know, the guys who got us into it. But for us, its about our experiences on the road and what we think is cool and works. We want to make a show thats got all the heavy bass and massive energy moments of an electronic show, but the feel and the look and the grime of a real rock n roll show.
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